1. Cesare Lombroso applied the methods of natural science (observation, measurement, experimentation, statistical analysis) to the study of criminal behavior. Lombroso rejected the classical theory of crime, associated with Cesare Beccaria and Jeremy Bentham, which explained criminal activity as freely chosen behavior based on the rational calculation of benefit and loss, pleasure and pain. Critically analyze both schools of thought and provide an opinion as to what theory you believe is more relevant.
2. The most inflammatory controversies involve police use of deadly force and excessive physical force. The cases of Michael Brown and Eric Garner are examples. Police departments have utilized various strategies to reduce racial discrimination through early warning systems, written policies, and internal investigations. Some police departments across the country are now using police body cameras – discuss this policy initiative including the advantages and disadvantages of same.
3. William Chambliss, Oliver Wendell Holmes and Felix Frankfurter examined the foundations of the Anglo-American legal tradition by focusing on the relationship between law and society. Discuss the approach of all three and give your opinion as to what the law really is.
4. William Westley’s study looked at policemen operating at the street level. Fogelson’s study focused mainly on the management level in policing, which has tended to be somewhat cut off from street level policing. Goldstein’s study examined policing at the political level where a police department encounters the currents of local government. Critically analyze all three and give your opinion as to whether you think studies of police should concentrate on the street level, managerial level or at the political level.
5. In western civilization for the past two thousand years the most common symbol of justice has been the “Lady of Justice”. She is blindfolded; she holds a scale with balance pans in one hand and a sword in the other hand. The scale represents the idea that for every offense there must be a punishment of equal weight. The sword represents the necessity of punishment. In your opinion are prisons an adequate form of punishment for justice to be served? Discuss.
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